16 Dec 2011

Christopher Hitchens dies

8:24 pm on 16 December 2011

Controversial British journalist Christopher Hitchens has died.

He was 62 years old. The heavy smoker and drinker had been undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus last year, shortly after publishing his memoir Hitch-22, the BBC reports.

Mr Hitchens was a celebrated literary critic, a fierce intellect and one of the world's most famous atheists.

In a career spanning four decades, he wrote 17 books, as well as countless articles and columns for publications including The Times Literary Supplement, The London Evening Standard and Vanity Fair.

Mr Hitchens passed away surrounded by family and friends at a cancer centre in Houston, Texas.

Mr Hitchens is survived by his wife Carol Blue and their daughter, and his two children from a previous marriage.